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[personal profile] scatterjoy

The orders come down and they say goodbye to their families. They stuff their lives into a duffel bag, their feet into their boots and they go. They march through sand, through jungles, through snow and ice. They do it because they had no other options, because they want to someday go to college, because they want to fight, because they want to protect their country.

The reasons don’t really matter. What matters is that they go.

Most of them don’t talk about it after. My grandfather rarely did. My biological father refuses to even acknowledge his time in ‘Nam. For some, it’s a code – what happened there stays there. For others, it’s self-defense at its most basic level – if you don’t think it, the nightmares won’t come.

My uncle didn’t have the chance to talk about it. My great-uncle and cousin and the boy I grew up with never had the chance. Their marching orders took them to their deaths. They get sent home in a bag, a flag draped across their bodies and we cry. We mourn. We are proud of them. We are angry at them.

They serve. Some die. Some live. And for almost all of them, if the call comes again in the middle of the night, if they are needed, if we are threatened, they will say goodbye to their families, stuff their lives into a duffel bag, and go and do what they have to do.

The reasons don’t really matter. What matters is that they serve.

*****

Voting is now open for this week's round - if you liked my entry, please vote for me. I'm in tribe two!

Date: 2011-01-15 07:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweeny-todd.livejournal.com
Good lord.. there sure is an emotional punch there!

Date: 2011-01-15 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] basric.livejournal.com
A powerful entry. Very well done.

Date: 2011-01-15 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myrna-bird.livejournal.com
Sorry for your losses. This was very clear cut. Well done.

Date: 2011-01-15 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bewize.livejournal.com
Sweet and sad.

Date: 2011-01-16 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snarkerdoodle.livejournal.com
This was a very well done piece, especially in so short a space.

Date: 2011-01-16 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenfernway.livejournal.com
This is very true! My husband served as a Marine in Vietnam. Hoo Rah!

Date: 2011-01-16 02:16 am (UTC)
ext_289215: (Default)
From: [identity profile] momebie.livejournal.com
My father once told me than any person who wanted to talk about Vietnam hadn't really been paying attention when they were there.

I like the pop to this.

Date: 2011-01-16 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faerie-spark.livejournal.com
This is so raw and simple, and really captures the contradictions.

Date: 2011-01-17 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] courtney-ke.livejournal.com
Very powerful. My husband was in the army, and even though I'm proud, I thank God he got out.

Date: 2011-01-18 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imafarmgirl.livejournal.com
Great entry. Short and well said.

Date: 2011-01-18 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scriblesnbraile.livejournal.com
Very powerful entry. I really liked it.

Date: 2011-01-18 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] java-fiend.livejournal.com
Really powerful piece. Great, great job.

Date: 2011-01-18 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lawchicky.livejournal.com
this is true, but so sad :(
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